With the stock market crashing (again) and money, or the lack thereof, being first and foremost in many minds these days, The Philadelphia Story may seem trite and petty. A beautiful, spoiled socialite and her wedding woes may seem completely out of emotional reach to the average theatergoer, but this play offers more than that: It's about comebacks.
Shortly after an exhibitors industry group had dubbed Katharine Hepburn "box office poison," she starred in the Broadway production of this play written by Philip Barry. It seems that 1930s audiences did not wish to see a smarty-pants-wearing woman (both on screen and off) at the movies. Never one to give up, Hepburn secured the rights to the film adaptation, and signed up the Hollywood darlings Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart as her co-stars. The 1940 film won two Oscars and career-reviving accolades for Hepburn.
University Theatre's production of this witty classic comedy runs Thursday–Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday–Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. —Christina Cass.